0038 Christmas Truce 1914
This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Abroad from the KU Center for East Asian Studies and the European Studies Program.
Christmas Eve, 1914. World War I has been raging for 6 months and casualties number in the hundreds of thousands. Suddenly, unofficial spontaneous ceasefires occur at various locations along the front. German and British soldiers sing carols in their own languages and shout Christmas greetings in the language of their enemies. One brave soldier climbs out of his trench and walks, weaponless, towards No Man’s Land. Others soon follow. Hands are shaken, gifts exchanged. A soccer game or two even breaks out. Thus was born an event now known as the Christmas Truce, taking place during a war that everyone believed would be over by Christmas. On this holiday, 100 years ago, it’s good to remember soldiers on opposing sides who laid down their arms and shared in the true spirit of Christmas. Happy holidays.
With thanks to Jennifer Duhamel for this text, from the KU Center for East Asian Studies, this is Randi Hacker. Wish you were here.